I was going to write about the amazing hike around Lake Jenny, but the highlight of our time in Jackson Hole, Wyoming was our unbelievable stay at Granite Creek Campground. This was not a normal campsite with the typical forest landscape, but instead provided mountain range views, creek access and remote hot springs. There are a million places to camp in the world, but I dare to say this is one of the top ten camping locations on earth.
Jackson Hole is a bougie tourist town with plenty of bars, restaurants and shops, but we spent most of our days at the remote campsite soaking in nature. We arrived at the campsite around 8:30 am on a Saturday without reservations. Worried we wouldn’t find a spot, we circled around to find that most of the best sites were open! Our site, number 48, was located at the top of a cliff next to a crystal-clear stream perfect for fly fishing.
Dense, green forests cleared to reveal a mountain vista and flowing river bend. We set up our chairs around the campfire each night with the babbling stream and a chorus of crickets. The alpine glow glistened in the mountain backdrop before the milky way uncovered itself along with thousands of twinkling stars. My friend witnessed her first shooting star as we gazed at the glistening sky beyond the campfire. The sounds of wildlife critters scuttling, the babbling of the stream, and other camper’s laughter lulled us to sleep in our cozy tents.
We took a 45-minute drive to Grand Tetons National Park for a hike around Lake Jenny. This moderate trail loop around the emerald lake was beautiful in late summer with waterfalls, varied terrain and incredible views of the national park. After hiking for a few hours we drove back to the campsite to change into our swimsuits and hit the hot springs. The pay-to-swim hot springs are less than a mile away from the campsite, but if you park outside of the pool gates, you’ll notice the Granite Waterfalls feeding into a rocky stream. Across the cold, rocky river steam rises from a mineral-rich waterfall that paints the rocks poppy red, mossy olive and a deep, tarnished yellow.
The journey to reach these coveted hot springs is not for the faint of heart. You’ll have to cross the knee-deep, cold rapids to reach the small, steamy hot spring. Whoever discovered this boiling waterfall burrowed out a shallow pool stacking large rocks as the faltering borders. The few who venture to these remote springs can soak while watching mist dance and listening to the roaring hum of Granite Falls. Soaking in the hippie hot springs after exploring the Grand Tetons is all I want in life.
Campers beware, there are huge temperature swings in Wyoming, even in the middle of summer. It was over 80-degrees during the day and below freezing at night. If you are planning on camping or hiking in Wyoming pack layers. The weekend after we left there was snow fall – in August! I was happy hiking in a tee and grateful to have a winter jacket to keep me warm as our tents froze over in the evening.
Granite Campgrounds were the ideal nightcap to our week-long camp trip. Glacier National Park and Yellowstone are full of unlimited hikes and adventures, but the remote campsite grounded us before returning to our home for the next few months in Denver. The Grand Tetons are a doable weekend trip and if you ask the locals they may tell you about the secluded hippie hot springs resting beside a roaring waterfall. Disconnect, unwind and slip into this incredible dreamland for your next holiday. You can also check out my Yellowstone Bucket List or other 2020 travel ideas.